The assorted rantings of Daniel Sieradski

Fisking JFNA & the JCPA on BDS

Posted on March 15, 2014

On Tuesday, JTA published an op-ed coauthored by Jerry Silverman of the Jewish Federations of North America and Rabbi Steve Gutow of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs describing the threat of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement to Israel and the efforts of their organizations to counter that threat.

I resent having to provide this disclaimer every time the issue of BDS is broached, but here goes, because I don’t want to hear about it later: Though I don’t support a boycott of Israel in its entirety, I do support the boycott of Israeli and international businesses which operate in the occupied territories, occupation-complicit Israeli officials and institutions, and avowed Jewish nationalist extremists. I also support soldiers who refuse to serve in the occupied territories, and Israeli NGOs which report on and legally challenge Israel’s human rights abuses.

I used to call myself a Zionist. I cannot any longer because of the increasingly rightward tilt of the community. I’m still a supporter of the two state solution, but I’m growing more sympathetic to the argument for one state, mostly because I do not see two states coming to pass due to the intransigence of Israel’s government, and because I’m extremely skeptical of Israel’s commitment to the rights of its Arab citizens. That’s why I’m neither hostile to BDS nor supportive of the Jewish community’s efforts to marginalize BDS supporters, and why, when I read Silverman and Gutow’s op-ed, I couldn’t help but find myself either incredulous or incensed at every line.

What follows, therefore, is a proper fisking.

On the Staggeringly Oblivious Hypocrisy of the Jerusalem Post

Posted on January 22, 2014

The Jerusalem Post is very upset by my explicitly tongue-in-cheek, admittedly ill-advised, and at times regretably tasteless whirlwind of rage against them on Twitter two weeks back, after they published a vile editorial that suggested left-wing Jews who advocate for the rights of asylum seekers in Israel secretly desire the state’s ethnic dissolution. They’ve now published two broadsides against me, the latest from Seth Frantzman, who, among other things, fails to disclose that we spent over a week traveling together in South Africa this past August. So much for “unseen enemies.”

In a country where violent attacks against non-Jews and their Jewish advocates are not uncommon, the Jerusalem Post should have thought better than to publish such despicable and incendiary material. But it didn’t. Nor did it give second thought to publishing ever more repugnant and racist incitement against Africans and those who aid them only a few days later, despite ongoing nationalistic violence targeting the African community — including the stabbing of an infant outside the Tel Aviv central bus station that same week.

“Two weeks have gone by since, and it still leaves us marveling at how easy it is to spread hate these days on the Internet,” Frantzman writes of my outburst.

Lack of self-awareness, thy name is the Jerusalem Post.